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Car Care Reports

Keeping Nature From Taking Its Course

Keeping Nature From Taking Its Course

"Mother Nature is awesome," says Donna Wagner, vice president of the Car Car Council, "but she's not very interested in the looks of your vehicle. So don't expect a good rain to rinse off your car this summer."

There's no such thing as a "good rain," she explains. "It contains contaminates. Over time, rain, as well as the sun's UV rays, can damage a vehicle's finish if its not washed and waxed regularly."

In a recent survey, people who washed their cars said they did so 1-2 times a month. The Council recommends washing your car twice a month and waxing it every six-months with quality products designed for these specific purposes. Do not use dishwashing liquid or other household detergents.

Consumers are sometimes confused about the "clear coat" that is put on at the factory to help preserve the finish. While this coating helps in the battle against the elements, it's approximately as thick as a plastic garbage bag. That's not much protection, and it's no substitute for cleaning.

"Regular washing and waxing is the key," says Wagner. "Like painting your home; it's one of the best improvements you can make. It protects the exterior and therefore protects your investment. It's relatively quick and inexpensive. And finally, it makes your vehicle look sharp, and that makes you feel good."


Car Upkeep Likely Returned At Trade In Time

Money Spent On Car Upkeep Likely Returned At Trade In Time

In a booming economy money is spread around that might stay in one's pocket during leaner times. However, when it comes to paying people to keep your car clean and well maintained it would probably be money well spent, says the Car Care Council.

"At trade in time dealers are willing to pay extra for a car that' s  been kept in good condition," says Donna Wagner, Council President. "And, like your grade point average in school, you can't make it look good overnight. It's an ongoing process."

Wagner suggests washing your car at regular intervals and waxing it twice a year. If you opt to do the work yourself, research it first. Do-it-yourselfers who aren't familiar with the products they're using can do more harm than good. By all means, read the directions and follow them.

Take care of little dents, scratches and nicks in the exterior as they occur. Repair chipped or cracked glass, as well. Left unattended, small problems can turn into big ones fairly quickly. "There's new technology to treat many of these blemishes," advises Wagner. "Many times the service personnel are equipped to come right to your home or office."

The interior of your vehicle is just as important as the exterior. It's hard to sell a house that looks good outside but whose interior has been ravished. A car is no different. Cigarette burns in the upholstery, rips, tears and stains all decrease the value of a vehicle.

"Not only that,"emphasizes Wagner, "but it may have a negative psychological effect on the owner, as well. We spend lots of time in that driver's seat; it makes sense that we would feel better if the interior is well kept."

Maintenance is important, too. Car dealers look more favorably on a vehicle with detailed maintenance records. A car without any service history has an unknown value, and the owner is unable to validate any claims of repairs or maintenance.

Summer is the perfect time to pay special attention to your car. Get the exterior cleaned and waxed and take care of any bodywork that needs to be performed. Look at the inside with new eyes; start with the floor mats and work up. Finally, check the recommended service schedule and make maintenance a priority.

Keeping a vehicle clean and well maintained is one of the few responsibilities that provides both immediate gratification and financial compensation down the road.


Your Car Looks Like New, What's Your Secret?

Your Car Looks Like New, What's Your Secret?

"Gee, it looks like new! I'd never have guessed that car was eight years old." That's what we owners want to hear, but keeping our cars looking like the late models is tough, even with today's long lasting finishes. Dents, dings and cracked glass are several items that age the appearance of a vehicle. Fortunately, technology has helped advance the solutions to these problems, making the fixes quicker and less expensive. With mobile repair units, these items often can be repaired on site at your home or work, adding to the convenience. Many types of door dents or small dings are fixed without sanding, filler or painting, preserving the integrity of the vehicle's original factory finish. Technicians use specially designed tools that allow them to access the problem and actually massage it out. There are a couple of factors that have an effect on the success of this process. The location of the dent on the car is important. For example, a dent on the edge of a door, trunk or hood probably can't be fixed using this process. If there is paint damage or scrapes across multiple panels, this may indicate that the damage is too severe, as the paint may crack as the dent is removed. If paint touch ups are required, the technology is available to match your vehicle and repair scratches, minor chips and blemishes on most surfaces. Like dents and dings, chipped cracked glass can also diminish the value of a car. However, the fix is not necessarily a new windshield. Seventy percent of all glass damage is repairable. Using resins that are constantly being improved, technicians not only can fix your glass, but make it stronger. In addition, the resin can create a repair that is difficult to detect. This technology can be used to repair the following types of glass damage in automobiles: star breaks, combination breaks, bullseyes and cracks of any length. Before having any repairs performed, the Car Care Council reminds you to choose the facility as carefully as you would choose your automotive repair shop. Be sure to get all estimates and warranties in writing. Ask for two or three references and call them. Finally, find out what happens if you're not happy with the job.


                                                          Model Planes


Taking Your Car Out Of Storage

Taking Your Car Out Of Storage

by A Site Visitor

The sun is shining, the birds are singing, winter has finally retreated into memory (at least for a few months) and you want nothing more than to take your vintage vehicle out of storage and actually drive it. But wait! There's more to taking a car out of winter storage than pulling the tarp off and dropping the top. Following these steps will help you put your cars back on the street safely.

  1. Drain the Fuel. It's important to drain and dispose of any gas left in carburetor float bowls or the gas tank itself, and you should also flush the fuel lines.
  2. Coolant. You'll want to drain the coolant and flush that system, as well. This is because many modern coolants include corrosion inhibitors that have been slowly disintegrating any rust inside your car's cooling system while it's been sitting in storage over the winter. If you don't flush out the system, you could cause a blockage later. When you replace the coolant a 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is sufficient.
  3. Oil. Chances are the oil already in the car is contaminated by water and/or acids that can cause rust inside the engine. Don't forget to change the oil filter, as well.
  4. Battery. You should charge the battery. If spring is still chilly where you live, keep the battery warm until you're ready to use it. When you do reinstall it, do so before you put the spark plugs (see step five) back in, and turn the engine over using just the key. Do this several times to allow the lubricant to really coat the cylinder walls and to be certain the oil and fuel pumps are ready. Keep doing this until the oil pressure light goes off.
  5. Cylinders. If your car has been in storage longer than just over the winter, it's a good idea to remove the spark plugs and coat the cylinders with lubricant designed for the upper cylinders. This will loosen any piston rings that may be stuck. Don't replace them until after you've put the battery back in.
  6. Carburetor. After the battery and spark plugs are correctly reinstalled, remove the cover from the air filter, and spray engine starter fluid into the carburetor mouths to ensure a successful first start for you engine.
  7. Brakes. The brakes should be bled, and you'll also want to check that both the brake and clutch master cylinders are full of brake fluid. Check your emergency braking system as well.
  8. Warm it Up. Once you are satisfied that all systems are working correctly, start your car, but don't rev the engine. Instead, let it idle until the engine is warm. Once you do pull out of the garage, check the ground to make sure no fluids were leaking. You'll also want to make sure your first drive is relatively short (about half an hour) and not far from home.
  9. Cleanliness. Wash and wax the car, taking care to give it time to dry before you return to the road, and to clean the interior as well as the exterior.

10.  Drive Safely. Take your newly cleaned car out for a drive, and have fun.

While some of these steps may seem a bit wasteful, it's far better to waste a tank of gas by draining it, than to have a much costlier problem because you didn't take precautions before you hit the open road.  Which may lead to costly car loans on your next ride.

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